I actually bought several lemons today, at Sainsbury’s, Selly Oak. I was taking part in the ‘Harvest a Lemon’ campaign organised by the Community Partnership for Selly Oak.1 Will a spike in lemon sales result in a better plan for the new store than the one proposed by Harvest and Sainsbury’s? Does a community group stand a chance against big business? I don’t know, but I do know it makes me feel better. Fighting back makes people feel happier than just moaning and doing nothing. Continue reading →
There are more Blues fan groups and websites than I can keep track of. The club lists 36 official supporters’ clubs on their site1 and there are various other unofficial groups in addition to those. There’s also a great clutter of forums and blogs, including this one, that aren’t associated with any particular fan group. I notice that one page on the Forza Blues site is now a forum called Blues Liaison Collective2, which sounds like an attempt to get Blues fans to talk to each other. It will be interesting to see how that works out; the site is under construction at present. Continue reading →
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about football in the last few days. I went to the Supporters Summit1 on Saturday and to an associated workshop on Supporter Liaison Officers (SLOs) on Friday. On Sunday I went to the Blues Trust Open Meeting. I don’t have time to write about all the ideas that are buzzing round my brain at the moment so I will just note some of the things that stood out. Continue reading →
Yesterday I said I agreed with Blues Trust’s proposal to increase the number of members on their board. I was planning to write something more critical about their proposals1 today. The trust’s message to members had invited me to “Debate, review, challenge and have your say.” and I was ready to do all of that. But then I listened to Steve McCarthy talking to Forza Blues on Sports Radio2 and that made it harder for me to be too critical. Continue reading →
I don’t want to be negative about Blues Trust; I’m a member and believe that it has enormous potential. So I’m going to write about one of their proposals1 that I agree with: board expansion. Continue reading →
Patience is not a virtue possessed by many football fans. Most want success for their teams and they want it now. If they get it, they want more success at a higher level. Fans that are delirious with joy at escaping relegation will want to be in the top six the following season. Continue reading →
I have been thinking about people power since the Big IF rally last Saturday. As I wrote in my last post1, I was more impressed by the 45,000 people who turned up in Hyde Park than I was by the big names on the stage. Yes, it helped to have Bill Gates as a speaker but it wouldn’t have been impressive without the crowd, people who had put aside their differences to work together on one issue. It set me dreaming about what could be achieved if football fans could set aside rivalries and unite to fight for the future of the game we love, if Birmingham City fans could march alongside Villa fans to protest about the problems caused by foreign owners who don’t listen to fans. Continue reading →
Gabriel Sutton asked a good question on the Talking Blues blog1 and I’ve been trying to think of a good answer. He asked how Blues Trust could secure influence and representation within Birmingham City FC when it is obvious that Peter Pannu and Carson Yeung don’t want to communicate with the fans. Gabriel said he didn’t know what the trust could do to help in this situation.
Congratulations to Blues Trust and Often Partisan; it’s impressive to get a front page story in the Birmingham Mail. I’m sure that it has involved a lot of work and I hope it will persuade more fans to join the trust.
I just read an excellent article about a man who got involved in fan activism early in life. His name is Brian Lomax. When he was young he supported Altrincham and when financial problems threatened its existence he wrote a six-page letter to the local paper, pleading for someone to save the club. Two men read his letter and bought the club. Lomax was 11 years old at the time.
I just listened to Nick Conrad interviewing Robert Hughes, a Blues Trust board member. Robert made some good points. He said that the salary being paid to Peter Pannu is too expensive for a club with the kind of financial problems that Birmingham City has. It is also a lot more than Karren Brady was paid. Robert also said that we need new owners, not absentee landlords and that the owners need to invest their hearts and minds, not just their money.
When a Blues Trust Tweet asked if the Swans Trust model was the way forward for others, the first answer that came to mind was, “I hope not.” I was thinking of the reason why Swans Trust got started, which was that the club was in crisis mode. Following relegation to the Third Division it was sold for £1 in July 2001 and had several changes of ownership the next season. The club was in turmoil and the fans joined together to save their club.
I was pleased to read that representatives of Blues Trust were among those who met at the Championship Trusts Group meeting last Saturday. This group was set up by Supporters Direct as a network where members from different trusts can share knowledge and identify issues that are important for all football supporters. Representatives from trusts in the group meet several times a year and keep in contact between meetings.
Blues Trust continues to provoke different reactions from Birmingham City fans; some join and others jeer. I am one of those who joined so I’m not writing from a neutral standpoint. My name is Margaret Decker; I was involved in helping to set the group up and was interim secretary for a while. I had to stand down from that position when my life got too busy with other things but I still support what they are trying to do. I know more about the history of the group than most members do but don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes now. I’m writing as an individual member expressing my own opinion and not as a representative of the trust.